H Old Hockey Field

Topography:
Level, with a bank above it to the east a bank below it to the west

Aspect:
Open

General Description:
A perfectly level rectangular field surrounded by trees. There are plantations of trees on the eastern bank and to the south. The dominant vegetation is still a mixture of grasses but coarse grasses and thistles are widespread and Himalayan balsam is invading from the north.

Features:
This was formerly the hockey pitch of St Hild’s College. The engineered landform is apparent. On the banks to the east and west there are some ancient apple trees which are perhaps the remnant of an orchard that pre-dated the hockey pitch.

Soil:
Clay

Grasses:
Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus)
Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata)
Fescues (Festuca spp)

Ferns:
Male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)
Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina)

Mosses:
Abundant in the eastern bank

Lichens:
Profuse on the bark of the old apple trees

Fungi:
Pale yellow parasols on horse droppings

Trees and Shrubs
•Oak (Quercus robur)
•Beech (Fagus sylvactica)
•Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)
•Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
•Elder (Sambucus nigra)
•Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
•Ivy (Hedera helix)
•Bramble (Rubus fruticosus)
•Gorse (Ulex europaeus)
•Broom (Sarothamnus scoparius)
•Whitebeam (Sorbus aria)
•Apple (Malus domestica)
•Cherry (Prunus avium)
•Bird cherry (Prunus padus)
•Broad-leaved lime (Tilia platyphyllos)
•Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
•Aspen (Populus tremula)

Plants
•Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)
•Wood avens (Geum urbanum)
•Dog’s mercury (Mercurialis perennis)
•Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
•Red campion (Silene dioica)
•Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
•Creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense)
•Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
•Broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius)
•Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
•Rosebay willowherb (Chamaerion angustifolium)
•Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
•Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)
•Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum)
•Stickywich/goosegrass (Galium aparine)
•Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
•Hawkweed (Hieracium sp)
•Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
•Lesser stitchwort (Stellaria graminea)
•Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
•White dead nettle (Lamium album)
•Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum)
•Broad-leaved willow herb (Epilobium montanum)
•Common mouse-ear (Cerastium fontanum)

Invertibrates

Mammals
•Mole (Talpa europaea)
•Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Birds

How could the area be improved:
Trees could be planted in the field. An attempt could be made to control the Himalayan balsam.

Extensive tree planting was undertaken in 2006 but leaving the central part of the field open. 300 ash, aspen and alder were planted in February 2006 and 100 oak were planted in November 2006. The ash trees were protected by tree shelters against damage by deer. The other trees were protected with rabbit spirals. Mulch mats were placed around many trees.